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22 May 2013


This is silly.

It's laughable that they are continuing to peddle the notion that "Set" (whether part of the current "C-T-S" or the upcoming "C-B-S") is an "invitation" to engage rather than a command, as the old "Engage" was. Saying such a thing undermines any credibility or illusion of intelligence that the IRB lawmakers/spokespeople possess. Is there a prop anywhere in the world who isn't going at the "S" in "set"?

I wonder what system they will go to next season? I also wonder how many steps there are between this and the abolition of opposed scrums, which I really believe is the ultimate destination.

Taking this at its merits, however, I think this might be a reasonable development...at the professional level. It will reward props who are really good at scrummaging, not just the hit. Will it eliminate the collapses and restarts? Maybe - it's worth a try.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I like this idea at a lot of lower (and youth) levels. Binding before the engage seems like a recipe for a lot of messing around that could ultimately make things less safe and stable.

Pretty quiet around here. Let's see...Boulder sucks? Jack Clark wears lingerie? Nigel Melville has dead prostitutes in his freezer? BYU players forge their transcripts?

So what is prevent the referee to rely on the touch judge to assist him in call feeding at the scrum. If there was more contest for the ball in the scrums there would be less collapsed scrums.

I've never understood why the ref (or a neutral party) doesn't feed the ball into the scrum. That would prevent crooked put-ins and ensure the ball is put in immediately. Refs throw the jump ball in basketball and I think in Aussie Rules too so it's not like there isn't a precedent in other sports.

@SM The whole game is predicated on a competition for the ball while leaning an advantage to the team in possession. A neutral put in is against the spirit of the game.

The team in possession gets the advantage of its hooker getting the first opportunity to strike. That's quite a large advantage.


Stay in the back line, or side line.

Only one of the Eagles starting 15 is affiliated with a West Coast club.

@SM If the other team knocked on or threw a forward pass, would you only want a 50/50 chance of you regaining possession after their mistake?

Titi Lamositele is a high school senior who would have made the men's 15 side had he not had, you know, high school to deal with. Does he really not play football? Im shocked I havent heard that he is going to college to play football next year. A high school kid capable of playing prop on the international level is surely athletic enough to play high level college football.

College - I believe Titi Lamositele does play football, I know he is a good heavyweight wrestler too.

ICYMI, the Serevi twitter account is reporting Lamositele will be signing with the Saracens Academy. https://twitter.com/SereviRugby/status/337756011584692225

Titi has already been to visit Saracens and work out with them. Broke a weight-lifting record(s) while he was there, if reports are correct. Good to see someone this young plying our trade at a semi-professional level. Perhaps Saracens can get him in-form to dominate when the US finally has a professional rugby competition.


It would not be a 50/50 proposition. The ref would still put it in from the left side of the scrum of the team in possession, just like the scrumhalf would currently. The only difference is the put in would be straight 100% of the time, per the laws of the game. The attacking hooker would still have the first opportunity to strike the ball so it would not even be close to a 50/50 proposition.

The problem with the scrums collapsing is more of a n hemisphere problem especially since SANZAR spoke to the Aussies about their problems.

The N Hemisphere teams tend to use it as a way to get a softer/tentative engagement from the opposition.

However, I do think the prebinding will help the youth scrums - getting a bind before the hit especially helps newer front row players; with the option to adjust their bind after the hit.

But it needs to be practiced, which is a very difficult endeavor in the youth programs.

The ref having his/her head down looking into the tunnel and then putting the ball in straight is not serious, is it? if the ref's put in is not straight - who calls that? when will the ref practice this?

Teams have enough trouble practicing scrums/put ins.

The refs need to be less a part in the playing of the sport, not more.

If the referee just applied the law on a consistent basis it would be a non issue. It is probably the easiest call they have to make during a match. My belief is that those on high believing that since the vast majority of balls are won by the team putting it in it is better to just get the ball in and move on.

The unintended consequence has been that the team without the put in, rather than occasionally or strategically going for strikes against the head - inside the opponents 22 for instance - now simply tries to disrupt and destroy the opposing teams scrum.

Apply the law and while it will not eliminate collapses entirely it will help. Having the props wear shirts that are a bit looser and can be gripped would not hurt either ...

The majority of referees have no clue what is going on in the engagement. (worldwide) I laugh when I see refs standing so close to the scrum. They can't see anything there that is going to help you with your call.




Without an assistant referee that knows what to look for on the other side, the refs are guessing.

They are changing the shirts so that they can be grasped. But it takes at least 18-22 months to have those produced.

@ uhnoreally: a majority of American front rows have no idea what goes on in the engagement either. 2 practices a week with 10 minutes spent on scrummaging does not an expert make.

see above - one of the points I was making.

these kids woefully underexposed, as are the refs.

Hulka - as it turns out I had the opportunity to see a couple of state championship games here in Mass yesterday and while the scrummaging was not the very best it was surprisingly good. As was the play in general. Athletic kids with more than a little enthusiasm and a surprising amount of skill. It definitely gives hope for the future ...

And I guess chopping out an entire season of 15's games in favor of 7's in the fall is somehow going to lead the US to world domination? Our front rows are already woefully inexperienced to begin with - less games will make them the laughingstock of the world.

If they were smart, during that 7s season, teams would have their tight 5s or at least their front rows working on scrummaging.

Anyway, I think part of the reason our scrum struggles is because of the lack of competition. No one learns anything from gross mismatches and winning or losing by 100. This is true of all facets of play, but particularly in the scrum where if you are substantially physically stronger you can get away with not needing to learn any technique. The scorelines you see on a regular basis in American rugby, both in men's club and college simply don't happen in many, if any, other countries around the world.

I agree with the competition aspect - but most skills are learned in practices against teammates than in games. But again there are not enough players (skilled or unskilled) to develop scrums to the level they need to be. And the coaches to bring scrummaging current to the states.

In addition - especially in colleges - most colleges in the mid west/east start playing games in less than two weeks of assembling.

I wonder what percentage of those kids never played in the scrum/rugby within two weeks of matriculating are starting at their colleges??

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